Ice Hockey Wiki
Angela James
Position Forward
Shoots Right
5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
155 lb (70 kg)
NWHL Team Beatrice Aeros
Born (1964-12-22)December 22, 1964,
Toronto, ON, CAN
Pro Career 1987 – 1999

Angela James (born December 22, 1964) is a Canadian former ice hockey forward who played in the Central Ontario Women's Hockey League (now the National Women's Hockey League) and represented Team Canada internationally. Considered the first superstar of modern women's hockey, James scored 34 points (22g, 12a)[1] in 20 games over four women's world championships,[2] including 11 goals in five games in the inaugural IIHF World Women Championships, held in Ottawa in 1992.[3] In 2008, she, along with Cammi Granato (USA) and Geraldine Heaney (CAN), became the first women to be inducted into the International Ice Hockey Federation Hockey Hall of Fame.[2] James was dubbed the "Wayne Gretzky of women's hockey", and as the daughter of a black father and white mother, she is the only African-Canadian to captain a national hockey team.[4]


James was born in Toronto, Ontario and grew up playing ball hockey with boys in Toronto.[3] When she first tried to play ice hockey, she had great difficulty finding a team that would give her any icetime, particularly when girls were mocked for trying to play. She attended Seneca College where she won numerous titles in ice hockey and softball and had her jersey (#8) retired.[5] In the late 1970s and early 1980s, she played in the Central Ontario Women's Hockey League, where she dominated her opponents. Robin Brown, host of CBC Radio One's Inside the Track described her as aggressive like Mark Messier with the pure goal-scoring talents of Mike Bossy.[6] In 1992, she was selected to Canada's team for the inaugural women's championship in Ottawa, where she led the team to the gold medal. She played in four more world championships afterward, earning eight MVP awards.[3] In a controversial decision, she was excluded from Canada's team in the 1998 Winter Olympics.[6] James, from 1987 until she was cut from Hockey Canada in December 1997, 22 goals and 12 assists for Hockey Canada. Currently, she is the senior sports co-ordinator for York University at its Seneca campus, and has been involved in hockey as a referee. [7]


In 2005, Hockey Canada honoured James with the female breakthrough award, given for making significant contributions to the promotion and/or development of female hockey in Canada. She was acknowledged for her efforts to promote and develop the game for females, and for her great skill within the game. Along with highlighting her excellence, Hockey Canada also noted that she has played in every position, including goaltender, where she recorded a shutout.[5] James has coached the North York Aeros, and she has officiated in the Ontario Women's Hockey Association.

When asked "which woman had the greatest impact on women's hockey?", several people included James in their responses. Shelley Coolidge of the Canadian Hockey Association stated, "Four players. They would be Dawn McGuire, Shirley Cameron, France St. Louis and Angela James. The four pioneers would be Glynis Peters, Fran Rider, Karen Wallace, and Susan Dalziel". Gold medalist Andria Hunter said, "This is a very hard decision. The first ones that come to mind are Angela James and Cammi Granato for what they accomplished on the ice and Manon Rheaume for the exposure she gave the sport." Hockey author Brian McFarlane responded, "Manon Rheaume, who broke the gender barrier in professional men's hockey, Angela James for her longevity, and Bobbie Rosenfeld for her considerable work on and off the ice in the first part of the 20th century".[8]

She was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame in 2008 along with Philippe Bozon, Cammi Granato, Geraldine Heaney, Igor Larionov, Mario Lemieux, and builder Art Berglund.

In 2008, the Angela James Bowl was created in her honour. The trophy is awarded to the Canadian Women's Hockey League's top scorer. On June 22, 2010, it was annoucned that Angela James will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.[9]

James now works as a sports co-ordinator at Seneca College in Toronto. She also owns the Breakaway Adult Hockey School.


Medal record
Women's ice hockey
World Championships
Gold 1990 Ottawa, Canada Ice hockey
Gold 1992 Tampere, Finland Ice hockey
Gold 1994 Lake Placid, United States Ice hockey
Gold 1997 Kitchener, Canada Ice hockey
3 Nations Cup
Gold 1996 Ice hockey
Gold 1999 Ice hockey
Pacific Rim International
Gold 1996 Ice hockey

James has received numerous awards and accolades:[5]

  • induction into Canadian sports hall of fame (2009)
  • Re-nameing of Flemingdon Park arena to Angela James Arena (2009)
  • Inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame (2008)
  • Induction into the black hockey and sports hall of fame (2006)
  • Induction into the OCAA hall of fame (2006)
  • Inducted into the Ontario Ball Hockey Association Hall of Fame
  • Four world championship gold medals (1990, 1992, 1994, 1997)
  • Team Canada All-Star Forward (1990, 1992)
  • Team Canada leading scorer (1992)
  • Won a medal in over 12 National Championships, selected MVP eight times
  • Numerous OWHA provincial and league championships. Highest scorer for eight seasons, MVP for six
  • Team Canada roller hockey gold medalist (1992) and silver medalist (1994)
  • National Ball Hockey Champions and All-Star Forward (1989, 1991)
  • Women in Sport Enhancement for the City of Toronto (1992)
  • Youth of the Year Award (1985)
  • Three time All-Star selection in the COWHL.
  • Most Valuable Player, COWHL, 1991[10]
  • Played with the North York Aeros in the 1991 and 1993 Canadian National Women’s Hockey championships.


  1. "Heaney, James, Granato honoured", Yahoo!, 2008-05-15. Retrieved on 2008-05-27. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "IIHF Hall of Fame adds seven", International Ice Hockey Federation, 2008-05-16. Retrieved on 2008-05-28. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Two OBHA Hall of Famers Recognized by International Ice Hockey", Ontario Ball Hockey Association, 2007-12-20. Retrieved on 2008-05-27. 
  4. Angela James. Ontario Black History Society. Retrieved on 2008-05-27.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 2005 HOCKEY CANADA FEMALE HOCKEY BREAKTHROUGH AWARD (pdf). Hockey Canada. Retrieved on 2008-05-27.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Brown, Robin. "First star in modern Canadian women's hockey gets her due, sort of", Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 2008-05-07. Retrieved on 2008-05-28. Archived from the original on 2008-05-11. 
  8. Notable Women hockey Players. Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved on 2008-05-27.
  9. Paul Hunter (June 23, 2010). Angela James going to Hockey Hall of Fame. Toronto Star. Retrieved on 23 June 2010.
  10. Who's Who in Canadian Sport, Volume 4, p.220, Bob Ferguson, Fitzhenry and Whiteside Ltd., Markham, ON and Allston, MA, ISBN 1-55041-855-6

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